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February 7, 2001

Private Donations to Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum Grow

SPRINGFIELD - Governor George H. Ryan and First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan today announced $500,000 in new private donations toward the construction of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

The Starr Foundation, of New York, is contributing $250,000.

A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc. of St. Louis, is contributing $100,000.

American General Financial Group, of Houston, is contributing $150,000.

So far, private contributions to the construction and operation of the Library and Museum complex total $3.5 million.

"Lura Lynn and I are pleased that these good corporate citizens recognize the importance of this project and are willing to help see it become a reality," Ryan said. "We will break ground for the library in a week - on Lincoln's birthday - and the success of Library and Museum will be a partnership between the local state and federal governments, as well as private citizens and businesses."

The Starr Foundation is based in New York City and is one of the largest private foundations in the United States, awarding grants every year to advance education, medicine and health care, public policy, human needs and cultural activities.

A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc., is an investment firm with historical ties to the Lincoln family. The firm has an office in Springfield.

American General Financial Group is the parent company of The Franklin, an insurance company with corporate offices in Springfield, a few blocks away from the Lincoln Home National Historic Site.

"This Library and Museum will be the centerpiece of the Lincoln heritage sites located here in Springfield," Mrs. Ryan said. "From school children and university researchers to Lincoln buffs, this complex will bring the entire life and career of Abraham Lincoln into focus and transmit his importance in history to future generations."

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the 198,000-square-foot facility will be held on February 12, 2001, the 192nd anniversary of Lincoln's birthday. The library portion of the complex is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2002 and the museum portion is set to be completed in the spring of 2003.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is a $115 million project that is a partnership of the State of Illinois, the City of Springfield and the federal government. The complex will house one of the world's largest and most complete collections of Lincoln artifacts and documents, as well as state-of-the-art exhibits that bring Lincoln's legacy to life.

The Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will be located in downtown Springfield, a few blocks from several important historic sites -- Illinois' Old State Capitol, where Lincoln served in the General Assembly, his former law offices, the only home he ever owned and the railroad depot where he made his famous farewell speech to his hometown.


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